Astros split the doubleheader with Chicago

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: August 13th doubleheader recap

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Game 1 Recap

After a disappointing loss on Sunday to the Orioles and a rainout the day before, the Astros were ready to get back in the win column in game one of the doubleheader on Tuesday. Here is a recap of the afternoon game:

Final Score: Astros 6, White Sox 2.

Record: 78-41, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Zack Greinke (12-4, 3.08 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Dylan Cease (2-5, 5.54 ERA).

1) Springer starts things with a bang

George Springer helped the Astros quickly get the taste of Sunday's loss out of their mouths on the first pitch of the game. He drilled a ball to left field, a 467-foot leadoff home run to put Houston up 1-0 immediately. After the defense saved a run in the bottom of the second, Jose Altuve doubled Houston's lead with a leadoff solo home run to start the third, making it a 2-0 game.

Those would be the only runs Houston would score until the sixth inning. In the top of the sixth, Yordan Alvarez worked a two-out walk, moved to third on a single by Yuli Gurriel, then scored on a passed ball, which at the time broke a tie to put Houston back ahead 3-2.

2) Quality start for Greinke

Zack Greinke was looking to make it back-to-back wins with his new team in the first of the two games on Tuesday. After a quick first inning, he allowed a couple of singles to put runners on base for his first test of the day. He would pass the test, thanks to a two-out strikeout and great throw out at home by George Springer connecting with Robinson Chirinos on a single that instead of scoring a run ended the inning.

The fourth inning was not the same story. After a quick third, Greinke allowed the leadoff runner aboard in the bottom of the fourth on an infield single, which would end up coming around to score on a one-out double to trim the lead to 2-1. He created trouble for himself in the bottom of the fifth, hitting the first batter of the inning who would move along to third on a couple of groundouts then score to tie the game on an RBI-double with two outs in the inning.

After Houston regained the lead in the top half, Greinke came out for his final inning in the bottom of the sixth and retired Chicago 1-2-3 to end his day in position for the win. His final line: 6 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 0 HR.

3) Houston pulls away late to take game one

Houston loaded the bases in the top of the seventh, getting three walks before scoring on another passed ball to extend their lead to two runs at 4-2. Will Harris took over for Greinke on the mound in the bottom of the seventh and was able to retire the White Sox in order with two strikeouts to send the game to the eighth.

The Astros added another insurance run in the top of the eighth, getting a leadoff double by Yuli Gurriel who moved to third on a flyout then scored on an RBI-single by Robinson Chirinos. They would load the bases later in the inning but stranded all three runners to keep the game at 5-2.

Ryan Pressly was the next reliever out of the bullpen for Houston and recorded a quick inning to keep the three-run lead intact. The offense added one last insurance run in the top of the ninth, getting a couple of walks before another RBI-single by Robinson Chirinos to extend the lead to 6-2.

Collin McHugh was tasked to keep the four-run lead in the bottom of the ninth inning. He did so, holding the White Sox scoreless to wrap up the win in game one.

Game 2 Recap

After taking the first game in the afternoon, Houston was looking for the doubleheader sweep by taking the evening game. Here is how the second game shook out:

Final Score: White Sox 4, Astros 1.

Record: 78-42, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Ivan Nova (8-9, 4.51 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Chris Devenski (2-1, 4.33 ERA).

1) Cole misses his start, Devenski fills in

In a late turn of events, Gerrit Cole would not be able to start the night game of the doubleheader due to hamstring discomfort, and Houston instead had Chris Devenski warm up quickly to pitch in the bottom of the first inning. He was able to put together a scoreless first inning but would struggle in the second, allowing three runs on four hits along with an error, putting Chicago ahead 3-0 early.

Geroge Springer was able to get one of those runs back in the top of the third, getting an RBI-single to score Aledmys Diaz who reached on an error earlier in the inning. Joe Biagini took over for Devenski in the bottom of the third and was able to get through that inning scoreless, but a two-out RBI-double in the bottom of the fourth put Chicago's lead back to three runs at 4-1.

2) Astros unable to crack Ivan Nova

Biagini would also throw the fifth, a scoreless inning before the Astros moved on to their next reliever, Hector Rondon. Rondon was able to provide two scoreless innings in the sixth and seventh; meanwhile, the Astros were being held in check by Ivan Nova of the White Sox.

Joe Smith pitched the bottom of the eighth and worked around a single and walk to keep the score as is, thanks to a little help on defense. Houston would come up empty in the top of the ninth, resulting in a doubleheader split. Ivan Nova would complete the game allowing just one run to the Astros.

Up Next: These two teams will wrap up the three-game series with an afternoon game on Wednesday at 1:10 PM Central. Wade Miley (11-4, 2.99 ERA) will be on the mound to try and build on his recent success for Houston while the White Sox will counter with Ross Detwiler (1-3, 5.35 ERA).

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

Composite photo by Brandon Strange

Earlier this week after the Astros were punished by MLB for sign-stealing, Dodgers fans were losing their minds about being cheated out of a World Series in 2017. A life-long Dodgers fan, Jose Lara, says he is speaking with an attorney about suing MLB for the amount of money he spent going to Game 7 of the World Series in 2017. It's hard to imagine he has any chance of winning his case, but that's not the point.

It seems nobody remembers that the Dodgers were accused of stealing signs back in May of 2019. The Mets and the Brewers have both accused the Dodgers. I'm going to stick to the accusations from the Brewers, but you can read about the Mets concerns with the Dodgers here. According to The Athletic's Robert Murray, the Brewers were suspicious the Dodgers were using cameras to steal signs with help from the video department. Sound familiar? "They use video people to get sequences," a Brewers source told The Athletic about the Dodgers in October of 2018.

And let's not forget the Red Sox claiming they caught Dodgers 3rd baseman Manny Machado relaying signs from 2nd base in the 2018 World Series. It's clear from MLB's investigation of the Astros that Alex Cora would definitely know what to look for when it comes to stealing signs.

The point is, there is a ton of heat on the Astros right now and deservedly so, but it seems like MLB is just starting to figure out that a lot of teams have been doing this as recently as last year. They need to look into all these reports, the teams involved, and make sure they punish everyone equally. You can't just punish the first team that got caught and let everyone else get away with it. If you're truly going to clean up baseball, you have to hold everyone accountable.

Hopefully a team like the Dodgers gets exposed sooner than later, so the Astros are finally out of the spotlight.

Let's go MLB, get to it!

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